We know Piers Morgan for his reality TV stints and his gig now as Larry King’s replacement on CNN. But before that he was a well-known tabloid editor in the UK, helming first the now-defunct News of the World and then the Daily Mirror. Speculating on whether he had had any role, even a bit part, in the current hacking scandal hitting former employer News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). has been a parlor game for weeks, one that gained considerable interest as Morgan avoided the subject on CNN.
Monday night he finally hit that head on, insisting that he had never participated that kind of behavior and devoting a large chunk of his show to the subject. Tuesday, though, he wound up in the headlines from Parliament as MP Louise Mensch used him as an example during the Culture Committee hearings with Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.
Mensch, who asked some of the most difficult questions of the day and emerged as a bit of a star, may be tarnished on this one.
She referred to his memoir The Insider and comments he made about a four-digit trick for getting voice messages that he used for a scoop. But that’s not what he says in the book and she refused to repeat it outside of Parliament. Inside, she can say anything she wants without being sued. Outside, she has no such protection.
Watch Wolf Blitzer deal with the results as Morgan confronts Mensch on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
Update: I tried to link directly to the spot in the book about “trick: Here’s what Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Book Search shows: “Apparently if you don’t change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and, if you don’t answer, tap in the standard four digit code to hear all your messages. …” And from Amazon: “I’ll change mine just in case but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick.”